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Caffeine restriction and Migraine Diets


Most that know of me know the long tortuous route I’ve taken through MAV for 15 years and that now, after 18 months on a sufficiently high dose of meds, Propranolol, I’ve improved dramatically. In fact, as @GetBetter said, I’m almost a success story! The last few months I’ve noticed increased rear head tension and defined it as a symptom I’d rather like to mop up. I’ve never seen any of the illustrious top UK MAV experts, just one neuro-oto and one migraine specialist neuro, both just one-offs. Nobody ever told me to restrict caffeine or do any migraine diet. The specialist migraine neuro never even mentioned it in consultation and when I subsequently emailed her specifically said not to bother with either. She said if the Propranolol wasn’t doing enough, She advised adding in another med.

Anyway, despite all the above, a month or so ago I decided to give caffeine restriction and a Migraine Diet a go. At the time, as I don’t experience classic migraine heads with MAV, I was wondering if this pressure was related to the meds. I chose the John Hopkins Diet because it allows two cups of tea daily, and I love my tea. I’ve changed brands of stock cubes, bought herbal teas under sufferance. I really can’t stand decaff tea or teabags. I’m a loose tea freak, always was. Strong British Rail tea for me. Coffee I can live without. So, barring a couple of ‘completely forgots’ and ‘couldn’t resists’, the diet been going OK. Plain, plain, plain and boring and I cannot live without Cheddar cheese. That’s not negotiable. Again fell by the wayside with my home-made Chinese one week-end. Was it the vinegar or the pineapple? Caused bit of a relapse. Out to relatives, extra cuppa brought the tightness back next day.

So unfortunately it’s beginning to seem these restrictions are working. Seems to reduce the rear head pressure or even eliminate it (and probably helped with the ear pressure though I think the meds had already almost sorted that before). and I most reluctantly have to admit I think I’m better without. Sob! Sob! And it doesn’t take much ‘banned’ ingredients to wind it up. Yesterday I had a visit for a friend who’s very recently fallen in love with ‘Bakeoff’ on T`V and developed a huge crush on Paul Hollywood and has taken up baking with a passion and wanted my opinion of her Chelsea buns - packed with dried fruit and lemon. Two specimen halves and the obligatory cuppa over the daily rota, and I’m paying for it today it seems. All a bit of a blow really. It’s a way off yet, but Christmas. I haven’t eaten chocolate since I was thirteen’ish, don’t eat nuts and don’t drink. No MSG, Pringles are out. No dried fruit. Well, that’s Christmas, Rich Fruit Cake, Christmas Pudding, and Mincemeat. I’ve a sister-in-law who makes mincemeat to die for. All off limits. I was really willing these restrictions not to work. I really was.

To misquote the Bob Gedorf song , apart from the carols, ‘Will I know it’s Christmas time at all?’. Helen


I gave up caffeine. I live in the land of coffee - Seattle. I order and make my coffee decaf and miss the flavor of caffeinated coffee. This decaf crap has a hole in the middle of it. But I admit, I’m less dizzy and not as much head pressure.

When I went keto, Christmas became an experience rather than a menu.


I’ll have to find out what my local baristas use because their decaf is really quite acceptable.

However I have a suspicion it’s still not that low in caffeine (there is usually some caffeine in decaf) - after two of them I can definitely feel some effect.


Two is one too many.


I re-introduced coffee like a week ago, a mix of caffeinated and decaf… and I drank a glass of rose and ate pizza last night… Results: I am super dizzy today.

So, I think I will stick with tea, and of course, keep the diet. It is a little sad, but on the other hand, as @flutters Emily says, it all becomes an experience rather than focusing on the food.


Try to stick to herbal or Redbush tea:

Beverage Caffeine Per 8 oz Cup
Green Tea 35-70 mg
Oolong Tea 50-75 mg
Black Tea 60-90 mg
Redbush Tea 0 mg
Coffee 150-200 mg
Decaf Coffee 5 mg

That’s still a significant amount of caffeine in tea!


oh yes, when I say tea, it is herbal tea.


We buy decaffeinated tea. And many herbal teas say “caffeine-free.” We buy a lot of them, too.


You might want to stagger…do the rose on a different night. Pizza on a different night. Ocassional real coffee still messes me up. Coffee is a bad trigger but i tolerate caffeinated chai/ tea very well.


yeah, i think i did all on the same day, bad idea :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Ha ha … as if we didn’t all stagger all over the place all the time anyway! It’s MAV, silly! :sweat_smile:




@turnitaround here are a couple for your recommended products page:

(NB from admin: these images link to products members have found helpful and at the same time help fund the site: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More recommended products here. Thanks for your support!)

Bigelow “Constant Comment” decaffeinated tea
Yogi Lemon Ginger tea
More recommended teas here




Very useful, thanks Anna, I updated your links!


2 posts were split to a new topic: Occupational health department at my place of employment wll not let me work


Really nice table. Could hv done with finding this several years ago. It took some chasing aroundto get stats I found.
Decaf tea? Helen


I think it may depend on the tea …

Green tea is supposed to be low too but really it’s almost as bad as Black tea!

But Redbush (aka “Rooibos”) based teas (see recommended teas here ) have zero caffeine and they have been a lifesaver for me, highly recommend the Tetley Vanilla redbush:

(NB from admin: these images link to products members have found helpful and at the same time help fund the site: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More recommended products here. Thanks for your support!)

Tetley Redbush Vanilla (UK only) Tick Tock Vanilla Chai

Thanks, added it to the Wiki Diet page.


James, your link above goes to the caffeinated version of “Constant Comment,” not the decaf version. Here’s a link to the decaf version:


Oh! Apologies … will fix! Thanks for pointing out! :upside_down_face:

That’ll be the one with “DECAFFEINATED” in big green writing on the pack then?! :bulb:

Edit: done!